DRDO DG defends high imports of military equipment


Defending high imports of military, defence equipments, DRDO Director General SK Mishra on Wednesday said unfortunately we are living in a neighbourhood of most dangerous terrorist country in the world.

There are many reasons for it and one is that we are living in neighbourhood of most dangerous terrorist country in the world, another is that there are 19 weather models which are possible, out of which we have 13 in India ranging from -55 degree Celsius to +55 degree Celsius, 100 degree humidity on sea to mountains where also humidity is high, different terrains, dessert.

So our requirements are different and adverse, which means we have to source from variety of suppliers to be prepared to wage a war, he said replying to a query on why India still has high imports even decades after Independence.

The combination of all this plus our history of a importing country makes us very vulnerable to this kind of import-export business, Mishra said.

He was talking about “Role of DRDO in making India a world class defence hub” in a session at Global Partnership Summit.

The DRDO Chief said we have a fund available for research and development of new technologies with a corpus of around Rs 1000 crore. One can apply for it but there are only few applications. It should be a practical idea, i.e an idea which can be converted into a product.

The problem is we do not have many applicants for it, he said talking about a severe shortage of entrepreneurs in defence related fields.

In a presentation earlier, he said according to Mckinsey, it is expected that India’s defence system requirement for next five years is around $150 billion. Indian manufacturing sector must capture a large portion of this domestic defence requirement for achieving self-reliance and enter into export market.

He said they have managed to reduce the delivery time of equipments, ie the whole process of conceptualising and implementing from 20-25 years earlier to now 3-5 years. But, still there is demand to bring it down further.

Till now, DRDO’s total portfolio cleared for production stands at Rs 2.56 lakh crore.

Mishra is also CEO and MD of BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India and Russia.

In November, the Indian Air Force became the first one in the world to successful test an air version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. The missile is a nuclear capable short-range supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land.